Places of Encounter provides a place-based approach to world history, focusing on specific locations at critical moments when human history was transformed as a result of encounters-physical, political, cultural, intellectual, and religious. Original, contributed essays by leading academics in the field explore places from Hadar to Xi'an, Salvador to New York, and numerous other locations that have produced historical shockwaves and significant global impact throughout history. With a chronologically organized table of contents, each chapter dissects a particular moment in history, with personal commentary from each contributor, a narrative of the location's historical significance at the time, and a section on significant global connections. Primary sources and discussion questions at the end of each chapter allow students a view into the lives of individuals of the time. Students will experience the narrative of historic individuals as well as modern scholars looking back over documentation to offer their own views of the past, providing students with the perfect opportunity to see how scholars form their own views about history.

chapter 1|16 pages


The Legacy of Human Ancestors (4,000,000–100,000 BCE)

chapter 2|21 pages

Makapansgat and Pinnacle Point

Three Million Years of Human Evolution in South Africa ⋆ (3000,000–2000 BCE)

chapter 3|18 pages


Rise of a Complex Urban Civilization (ca. 3700–539 BCE)

chapter 4|16 pages


The Cradle of Western Civilization (900 BCE–324 CE)

chapter 5|18 pages


Eastern Gateway and Strategic Citadel (1049 BCE–907 CE)

chapter 6|19 pages


Gateway to the World Beyond the Mediterranean (ca. 800 BCE–700 CE)

chapter 7|15 pages


A Vortex of Peoples and Cultures (324–1500)

chapter 8|18 pages


Pilgrimage and the Making of the Islamic World (400–1500)

chapter 9|15 pages


A Commercial City in the Economic and Cultural Cross-Currents (1000–1500)

chapter 10|18 pages


The Microcosm of India and Exemplar of Balance (ca. 1200–1600 CE)

chapter 11|12 pages


Political and Economic Hub Connecting East and West (1220–1660)

chapter 12|20 pages


A Center of International Exchange in the Renaissance World (1350–1550)

chapter 13|16 pages


A Motor of Global Change (1545–1600s)

chapter 14|24 pages


Cosmopolitan Trading Port of the Early Modern World (1400–1824)